Founding Ramones Drummer Tommy Ramone Dies
by Spencer Kaufman July 12, 2014 8:51 AM
Roberta Bayley/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Sad news to report, as drummer Tommy Ramone, the last surviving founding member of the legendary punk band The Ramones, has passed away at the age of 62.
Following a tragic period from 2001 to 2004 where Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone all died within a few years of each other, Tommy had remained the only living founding member of The Ramones until yesterday (July 11). The drummer died after a battle with bile duct cancer.
Tommy, whose real name was Erdelyi Tamas, was born in Budapest, Hungary, but grew up in Queens, N.Y., where the Ramones famously formed. He played on the band’s first three studio albums — ‘The Ramones,’ ‘Leave Home’ and ‘Rocket To Russia’ — before leaving the band in 1978. He also appeared on the band’s 1979 live disc ‘It’s Alive.’
In addition, Tommy co-produced all of the aforementioned albums, as well as two more Ramones albums — ‘Road to Ruin’ and ‘Too Tough to Die’ — after he had been replaced by Marky Ramone. He also produced the Replacements first album, ‘Tim,’ among other discs.
In addition to playing on dozens of Ramones songs, Tommy co-wrote some of the band’s most popular tunes like ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.’ He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other founding and key members of the Ramones in 2002.
We’d like to send our best wishes and condolences to the family and friends of Tommy Ramone, and thank the late drummer for gifting the world with such incredible music.